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Are you still making calendars?  Here’s another set of 12 candidates, if my count is right.

January could be American Integrity, a product of Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1000′ loa x 105′ and when loaded and photographed from this angle, she looks impossibly long.  Her size keeps her confined to the four upper lakes, being way too large for the Welland Canal.

Since these are two of the same vessel, one could be the inset.  This shot of American Integrity discharging coal at a power plant in East China, MI, seems to shrink her.

Radcliffe R. Lattimer has truly been around since her launch in mid-1978.  Besides the usual plethora of Great Lakes ports, she’s worked between Canada and the Caribbean, been taken on a five-month tow to China for a new forebody, and made trips on the lower Mississippi and Hudson.  I took this photo just south of Port Huron.

Here Arthur M. Anderson waits to load at the docks in Duluth.  I’d love to hear an estimate of tons of bulk cargo she’s transported since her launch in 1952.  For many, Anderson will forever be remembered as the last vessel to be in contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald in November 1975.

Here’s Whitefish Bay upstream from Montreal.  Click here to see her and fleet mate Baie Comeau christened side by side at the Chengxi Shipyard in Jianyin, China, in November 2012.

Cedarglen is another laker that has seen major design changes in its superstructure, having first launched in 1959 in Germany with the bridge midships.  She has the same bridge.  Down bound here near Ogdensburg NY, she’s worked on the Great Lakes since 1979.

Walter J.  McCarthy Jr., here down bound on Lake Superior is another of the thirteen 1000′ boats working the upper four lakes.

Kaye E. Barker has been working since 1952, here in Lake St. Clair down bound.  That’s the tall parts of Detroit in the distance.

Algoma Integrity was launched in 2009 as Gypsum Integrity.

Cason J. Callaway is another 1952 ship, here discharging cargo in Detroit.

Algoway was launched 1977.  Will she be there for the 2018 season?

So from this angle you might think this too will be a laker . . . ., right?

She once was of the same class as Callaway and Anderson above, but .. . between end of the 2007 season and the beginning of the 2008, she was converted to a barge and married to the tug Victory.

Victory was built in 1980.

And to close out the mosaic that is the December page on our hypothetical Lake 2 calendar, it’s a close up of Victory at the elevator in Maumee OH.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who believes that the number of single hulled lakers will decrease as ATB design becomes predominant.

 

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To start, these are boats, I’m told, not ships.  I first saw the type as a kid, reading a book that made an impression and crossing the St Lawrence on the way to the grandparents’ farm.

I’ve posted Great Lakes photos a fair number of times in the past few years, so I continue CYPHER series here with Manitowoc –a river-size self unloader–departing Cleveland for Milwaukee.

Alpena–1942–with the classic house-forward design transports cement.  I was thrilled to pass her late this summer on a magnificent Lake Huron afternoon.

Although you might not guess it, Algoma Harvester was built here half a world away from the Lakes.  To get to her trading waters, she crossed two oceans, and christened less than four years ago.  The selling point is that she carries more cargo than typically carried within the size parameters of a laker (Seawaymax), requires fewer crew, and exhausts cleaner.  I took the photo on the Welland.

Thunder Bay hails from the same river in China as Algoma Harvester and just a year earlier.  The photo was taken near Montreal in the South Shore Canal.

Tim S. Dool was built on a Canadian saltwater port in 1967.  I caught her here traversing the American Narrows on the St. Lawrence.

American Mariner was built in Wisconsin in 1979.   In the photo below she heads unbound on Lake St. Louis. I’ve seen her several times recently, here at night and here upbound St. Clair River.

Baie St. Paul is a slightly older, nearly identical Chinese built sister to Thunder Bay.

Algolake, launched 1977,  was among the boats built in the last decade of the Collingwood Shipyard.  

Lee R. Tregurtha, here down bound in Port Huron,  has to have among the most interesting history of any boat currently called a laker.  She was launched near Baltimore in 1942 as a T-3 tanker, traveled the saltwater world for two decades, and then came to the lakes.  I  also caught her loading on Huron earlier this year here.

Mississagi is another classic, having worked nearly 3/4 of a century on the Lakes.

Buffalo, 1978 Wisconsin built, and I have crossed paths lots recently, earlier this month here.  The photo below was taken near Mackinac;  you can see part of the bridge off her stern. Tug Buffalo from 1923, the one going to the highest bidder in five days, now stands to go to the bidder with $2600 on the barrelhead.

I’ll close this installment out with lake #12 in this post . . . .    Hon. James L. Oberstar, with steel mill structures in the background, has been transporting cargo on the lakes since the season of 1959.  She is truly a classic following that steering pole. See Oberstar in her contexts here, here, and really up close, personal, and almost criminally so for the diligent photographer, here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  More to come.

 

 

Here are all the previous “pairs” post, a direction I glanced at after seeing Bouchard Boys and Linda Lee Bouchard rafted up last weekend . . .  I’m not sure why the formation, but it certainly showed their relative size.

And once I see a pattern in one place, I start to notice it in others.  Here Otter and Pike almost appear to be in the right lane for Exit 10.   I’m eager to see Muskie and Gar.

Over in Hudson Yards below “the vessel” a pair of Schenectady’s finest EMDs hold a place in the rotation out east.

Between Montreal and Trois-Rivieres lies Lac St. Pierre, where I saw this pair.  To the right, I’ve already commented that Espada used to call in the sixth boro as Stena Poseidon.  Now I look up Laurentian–to the left–and discover she used to call in our watery boro as Palva!   If it’s about the witness protection program, the effort would be foolproof.  I’d never have seen Palva in her new color, suggesting to me that paint and color trump lines.

A report that continues to fascinate me about Lac St. Pierre is that it spawns “ice rocks,” which are rocks that become embedded in the winter ice in the shallow portions of the lake that freeze solid all the way to the lakebed, until these rocks are carried downstream encased in floating ice and become lethal targets for fast spinning propellers.  Ice rocks, what a concept!

Pairs of dug canal banks, as seen in midSeptember west of Rome, show how surveyor straight some parts of the waterway are.

Guard gates are essential canal infrastructure.

And I’ll conclude with a pair of liberty statues, one pointed east and the other west.  A few of you will know immediately where a pair of these “crowns” a building, and I’ll just wait for someone to make the identification.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who asks as treat that you share your favorite tugster post or obsession or vessel  . . . today with some friends.  Be safe.

Oh, and one of my favorites is this post I did about a Halloween-escape trip seven (!!) years ago.

 

A 4300 hp product of a Collingwood ON shipyard no longer there . . . it’s Océan Basques.

Here’s a better profile, taken a second earlier.  Basques provides ship assists in the port of Trois-Rivieres, QC.  

Docked nearby in the same port, it’s Océan Bravo, slightly older and larger though less horsepower,  a product of Quebec’s  Davie Shipbuilding. 

After Bravo, you’d expect and Charlie . . . and there’s most of the other names of the military alphabet up to Lima in the Ocean fleet. Charlie here is roughly a twin in size and power–though not styling–to Bravo.

Duga is based in the port of Sorel-Tracy, and is a 1977 product of the Trondheim Fjord of Norway.

Staying with the Océan fleet in the quite busy out of Sorel-Tracy, here’s Pilote 2000 stemming between

Leopard Moon and

Jebsens’ Sharpnes.

Downstream to Quebec City, here’s Océan Guide returning from a pilot run to Helena G and

exchanging pilots on Dara Desgagnes.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who was not surprised to find that Canada has more miles of coastline than any other country on the planet.

And here’s an unrelated research question sent along by frequent contributor here, Jan van der Doe, and referring to the photo below taken in rotterdam in 1954.  Question is:  What identification might be provided by the white numbers “3793” visible in the lower right on the dark hull of the vessel just forward of the burning Tanga?  Note the Dutch flag on the stern of the vessel so marked.

 

Here are previous posts in this series.

Below . . . could that almost be a dawn or twilight background?  And is that a canot a glace aka ice canoe –with oars instead of paddles–maybe?  Ice canoeing, some would say, is the real Canadian winter sport . . .

Well, no matter how much you squint, that is convincingly a small craft.  The 751′ Espada does a successful job of obscuring the small craft.    Without looking it up, I’d never have guessed that this Desgagnes tanker appeared in tugster here back in February 2013 as Stena Poseidon!!   This connection clarifies to me my often-felt question:  why do some ships call in the sixth boro once or a few times and then disappear forever?   They just get repainted, rebranded, and show up here or elsewhere….

This one was hard to understand until I learned it was started life as a warping tug built 1946.  Click here for some posts I’ve done about warping tugs, aka alligators.

To me, this runabout is the water equivalent of a 1950s sports car like these, in case anyone wants to buy me one . . .

This drift boat, I’m guessing, and I had to shoot it from a bridge through chain link.

New York State Bridge Authority?  I can’t find evidence they own such a boat . . .

This one’s truly intriguing, given the approaching season, but I suspect this is as simple as a pair of hunters with supplies to conceal their duck blind. I did not however see any armed punts or sneak boxes.

And since we started with a human-powered small craft, let’s end here…

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is happy to post any photos of unusual small –or any sized–boats you may come across.

 

 

. . . meaning lacking self-unloading gear, which makes these vessels less versatile.  Manitoba was in exactly the same location–and similarly high in the water–a year ago when I was here.  With her traditional “‘house forward” design, she’s fearless and called a straight decker–having nothing but holds between the ‘house and the engine compartment .

Ditto Ojibway, only slightly younger than I am,

with some quite serious lock, ice, and dock rash.

Contrast them with Algoway, traditional design but with self-unloading gear.

Tim S. Dool, although gearless is generally not considered –as I understand it–a straight decker because it has its ‘house aft.

And what an attractive rake the forward portion of this house has.

Built in 1967, she’s starting to show some age,

on her graceful lines.

Finally, one more gearless vessel, Spruceglen.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to boatnerd for the linked info.  Soon it’ll be time to order your new KYS “boat watching bible.” 

 

Here are previous posts in this series.

Floragracht hurries upstream just north of Montreal

with a mixed cargo

on its deck.  The sail might be re-named Wet Autumn Dream.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

The cities of Sorel and Tracy surround the Richelieu River –flowing under those bridges–at the point it empties Lakes Champlain River into the Saint Lawrence.  I’ll admit from the start that I can hardly say I know this place, but here are some photos taken as we passed.

Sunny Young was taking on a grain cargo, I believe, and

 

Federal Caribou was tied up across the river’s mouth.

Laker Ojibway–a straight decker–I’m guessing was having its cargo discharged.

Sorel-Tracy is a steel and metallurgy center, although I can’t tell you much more than that.

 

Florence Spirit was at the dock slightly south of town.

What product is generally stored under these domes . . . can I get some group-sourced info?

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here are the previous in this series.

As we depart downstream on this rainy day, Ocean Pierre Julien  heads upstream.

Ocean Intrepide stands by Silver Manoora and Mars S.

x

Over alongside Sorel-Tracy, Ocean Jupiter heads upstream for reasons beyond my ken.

 

The twins wait in Quebec City, and

Ocean Serge Genois, farther upstream.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Thanks to tugster readers who snap photos and write tugster editorial offices, I sometimes can include dispatches from far-flung places.  Today’s post comes thanks to bowsprite who texted me the other day mentioning a pelican at the North Fork of Long Island.

I had limited wifi at the time, so I expected later to see a photo of a haggard fish-eating semitropical bird blown out of its usual habitat by this summer’s storms.  Later but before I could open the photo file, she asked about VIMS, and I could not imagine why.

But here is is . . . a vessel named Pelican looking faintly military and with ghost letters midships “VIMS.”

Click here for a thorough orientation to the boat since its adoption as VIMS flagship in 2003.  But according to this, a new vessel was ordered, and here it is (as a rendering) . . .

Here’s more about the shipyard in Matane, QC.

Many thanks to bowsprite, who’s especially buoyant these days,  for this photo and news.

Click here for previous posts featuring research vessels.

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